I've had some times to think about it. Here are my thoughts.
First, I agree with the idea that SL needs a restart. It is SO different from what it was when it began and over the years the amount of patching and upgrades is staggering. I can't help but think the game is more duct tape than game at this point. I look forward to them using the experience of SL to start new and make something better.
SL really stands at the top of the pack when it comes to customer content creation so they would be foolish to rest on their laurels and lose that spot to another. The technology has drastically advanced, I look forward to seeing what they manage to do with it.
Also, I think SL has always been a lame duck when it comes to marketing. It has always just spread by word of mouth which worked for awhile but hasn't worked well since. On top of that they tried to bring in a lot of companies, in the beginning, to try and become virtual. Remember you used to be able to "test drive" audis? Remember the clothing store you could try on clothes at, then, using Lindens, order the same shirt for yourself that would be sent to your home? All of these fell by the wayside because they never got any further support from the Lindens and there was no way to spread the news about these, and other events, to the entire grid. Instead we had people coming to try the game for the first time, end up on newbie island with a really crappy and difficult start up tutorial only to get dumped on some random sim between a newbie looking woman immediately asking for your Lindens, a Furry cat with a kiss exploder and a giant dancing penis with a sound loop... WELCOME TO SECONDLIFE! No wonder so few actually stayed around.
That said, I do have concerns;
- My name! I want to keep my freaking name! I will be throwing a full on kindergarten tantrum if I can't keep my name.
- I hope they don't forget their base customers. My fear is they will assume everyone from SL will just follow, no matter what, so their focus will be on pleasing the newcomers instead of keeping the loyal followers. Specifically when it comes to building. SL has not been the most "noob" friendly when it comes to the building tools. It takes serious work and effort to get to use and understand all the nuances of the tool set. Hell, I just learned something new today myself and I've been doing it for awhile. I really... really hope they don't dumb down the tool set in order to make it friendly for everyone. I'd be fine if they had a basic tool set and a more advanced tool set, but I just don't want them to take out advanced capabilities.
- I hope they don't get greedy. I have heard they already announced they will be taking out a larger percentage on things sold in the new marketplace (don't ask me where I heard that) and I am okay with a slightly higher percentage. I just hope they don't take so much that it kills creativity.
In the end, I just hope they have learned from past mistakes and it really does end up all for the better.